Impact of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D 25(OH) on telomere attrition: A Mendelian Randomization study
Journal article, 2020

Background: Conventional observational studies have suggested that 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) is inversely associated with telomere shortening. We aimed to apply two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) to assess the causal association between serum 25(OH) D and telomere length (TL). Methods: MR was implemented by using summary-level data from the largest genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on vitamin D (n = 73 699) and TL (n = 37 684). Inverse variance weighted method (IVW) was used to estimate the causal estimates. Weighted median (WM)-based method, and MR-Egger, leave-one-out were applied as sensitivity analysis. Results: The results of MR demonstrated no effect of 25(OH)D on TL (IVW = β:-0.104, p = 0.219, WM = β:-0.109, p = 0.188; MR Egger = β:-0.127, p = 0.506). None of the 25(OH)D-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were significantly associated with TL. Heterogeneity tests did not detect heterogeneity. Furthermore, MR pleiotropy residual sum and outlier (MR-PRESSO) did not highlight any outliers (p = 0.424). Results of leave-one-out method demonstrated that the links are not driven because of the single SNPs. Conclusions: Our study does not support any causal effect of 25(OH) D on TL.

Telomere length

25-Hydroxyvitamin D


Mendelian randomization



Mohsen Mazidi

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Food and Nutrition Science

Dimitri P. Mikhailidis

University College London (UCL)

Maciej Banach

Polish Mother’s Memorial Hospital Research Institute

Medical University of Lodz

University of Zielona Góra

Abbas Dehghan

Imperial College London

Clinical Nutrition

0261-5614 (ISSN) 15321983 (eISSN)

Vol. 39 9 2730-2733

Subject Categories

Endocrinology and Diabetes

Environmental Health and Occupational Health

Nutrition and Dietetics





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